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Akira
10-06-2008, 06:47 AM
By Nic Robertson
CNN Senior International Correspondent
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Taliban leaders are holding Saudi-brokered talks with the Afghan government to end the country's bloody conflict -- and are severing their ties with al Qaeda, sources close to the historic discussions have told CNN.
King Abdullah of Saudia Arabia hosted meetings between the Afghan government and the Taliban, a source says.

King Abdullah of Saudia Arabia hosted meetings between the Afghan government and the Taliban, a source says.

The militia, which has been intensifying its attacks on the U.S.-led coalition that toppled it from power in 2001 for harboring Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, has been involved four days of talks hosted by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, says the source.

The talks -- the first of their kind aimed at resolving the lengthy conflict in Afghanistan -- mark a significant move by the Saudi leadership to take a direct role in Afghanistan, hosting delegates who have until recently been their enemies.

They also mark a sidestepping of key "war on terror" ally Pakistan, frequently accused of not doing enough to tackle militants sheltering on its territory, which has previously been a conduit for talks between the Saudis and Afghanistan.

According to the source, fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar -- high on the U.S. military's most-wanted list -- was not present, but his representatives were keen to stress the reclusive cleric is no longer allied to al Qaeda.

Details of the Taliban leader's split with al Qaeda have never been made public before, but the new claims confirm what another source with an intimate knowledge of the militia and Mullah Omar has told CNN in the past.

The current round of talks, said to have been taken two years of intense behind-the-scenes negotiations to come to fruition, is anticipated to be the first step in a long process to secure a negotiated end to the conflict.

But U.S.- and Europe-friendly Saudi Arabia's involvement has been propelled by a mounting death toll among coalition troops amid a worsening violence that has also claimed many civilian casualties.

A Saudi source familiar with the talks confirmed that they happened and said the Saudis take seriously their role in facilitating discussions between parties to the conflict.

A second round of talks is scheduled to take place in two months, the Saudi source said.

The Afghan government believes the Taliban cannot be defeated militarily, and the Taliban believe that they can't win a war against the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, the Saudi source said.

The involvement of the Saudis is also seen as an expression of fear that Iran could take advantage of U.S. failings in Afghanistan, as it is seen to be doing in Iraq.

Several Afghan sources familiar with Iranian activities in Afghanistan have said Iranian officials and diplomats who are investing in business and building education facilities are lobbying politicians in Kabul. Learn more about King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

The Afghan sources wish to remain anonymous due to their political roles.

Coalition commanders regularly accuse Iran of arming the Taliban, and Western diplomats privately suggest that Iran is working against U.S. interests in Afghanistan, making it harder to bring peace.

Saudi sources say perceived Iranian expansionism is one of Saudi Arabia's biggest concerns. Video Watch CNN's Nic Robertson report on the meeting
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The talks in Mecca took place between September 24 and 27 and involved 11 Taliban delegates, two Afghan government officials, a representative of former mujahadeen commander and U.S. foe Gulbadin Hekmatyar, and three others.

King Abdullah broke fast during the Eid al-Fitr holiday with the 17-member Afghan delegation -- an act intended to show his commitment to ending the conflict. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. Learn more about Ramadan

Saudi Arabia was one of only three countries that recognized the Taliban leadership during its rule over Afghanistan in the 1990s, but that relationship was severed over Mullah Omar's refusal to hand over bin Laden.
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During the talks, described as an ice breaker, all parties agreed that the only solution to Afghanistan's conflict is through dialogue, not fighting.

Further talks are expected in Saudi Arabia involving this core group and others.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/10/06/afghan.saudi.talks/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

Ray G.
10-06-2008, 06:48 AM
Interesting.

Ryudo
10-06-2008, 06:49 AM
Saudi Arabia?

But the terrorists are supposed to be in Iraq!

Darn it, George, have you been lying again?

James Patrick
10-06-2008, 07:00 AM
What? The Afghan government is talking to them? I thought the best thing to do was not talk!

Jerome Gibbons
10-06-2008, 07:00 AM
That's interesting.

danlomb
10-06-2008, 07:32 AM
Whoa. That's either a whole lotta something, or a whole lotta nothing.

Hoggie
10-06-2008, 07:41 AM
The Taliban, now theres a trustworthy group. Let us back in the country, we won't blow every one up we swear. I think they should set up another meeting for the Taliban leaders and then we can bomb the shit out of them.

Foolish Mortal
10-06-2008, 08:05 AM
The Taliban, now theres a trustworthy group. Let us back in the country, we won't blow every one up we swear. I think they should set up another meeting for the Taliban leaders and then we can bomb the shit out of them.
I'm skeptical as well. But it won't hurt to at least hear what they have to say.

Crimsonpug
10-06-2008, 08:09 AM
It'd be a nice step forward if it were true.
But the Ackbar/Skeptic in me is screaming: "Its a trap!"

juampi
10-06-2008, 08:25 AM
They were friends with Rambo, they're trustworthy...

Jim.
10-06-2008, 08:26 AM
awww...I hope they can work it out. I hate to see bad break ups.

Drkemerld73
10-06-2008, 08:30 AM
Well... It's worth a shot. Let's hear them out see what happens.

Dreg
10-06-2008, 08:36 AM
Wait a minute...our nation's leaders have been implying for years that they're the same thing, and our nation's leaders are always on top of things, aren't they?

Wigner's Friend
10-06-2008, 09:17 AM
It'd be a nice step forward if it were true.
But the Ackbar/Skeptic in me is screaming: "Its a trap!"

Rightfully so Admiral. This is a classic move amongst rogue organizations that are getting pushed back. Call for a ceasefire until you can build your strength back up and start fighting again. Of course, sometimes it works; in Iraq, the Mahdi Army is now a weakened group and is unlikely to mount any long term attacks since the March ceasefire. Hezbollah on the other hand often calls for ceasefires when Israel is killing too many of their recruits and builds back up.

I see it unlikely that the Taliban is looking for anything more than a chip in the game in order to grab power. Abandoning al-Qaeda seems like a necessary step towards a power grab in the southeast.

CougarTrace
10-06-2008, 09:18 AM
The Taliban, now theres a trustworthy group. Let us back in the country, we won't blow every one up we swear. I think they should set up another meeting for the Taliban leaders and then we can bomb the shit out of them.

exactly.

Dreaded Anomaly
10-06-2008, 09:24 AM
They've probably been watching American election polls, and have realized that Obama's election and subsequent troop redirection from Iraq to Afghanistan is just about inevitable. :)

Hoggie
10-06-2008, 09:28 AM
They've probably been watching American election polls, and have realized that Obama's election and subsequent troop redirection from Iraq to Afghanistan is just about inevitable. :)

This actually is not that far of a stretch. Either way there are going to be more US boots on the ground and that can't be good for them. Its just sad that we proped these guys up in the first place after the Russian war ended.

CougarTrace
10-06-2008, 09:31 AM
They've probably been watching American election polls, and have realized that Obama's election and subsequent troop redirection from Iraq to Afghanistan is just about inevitable. :)

It's happening any which way. The troop plan to move to Afghanistan is already in place. It's just Obama's or McCains to change.

mario
10-06-2008, 11:32 AM
don't delude yourselves: you can't win in Afghanistan, no matter how many soldiers you put there.
Here's a novel approach: how much does it cost a day of war there? Now instead of a soldier, you get a builder there, or a doctor, or a teacher,... for the same amount a day as you would.

Joe Henderson
10-06-2008, 11:34 AM
October surprise!

Seriously though, potentially good news.

Hoggie
10-06-2008, 11:41 AM
don't delude yourselves: you can't win in Afghanistan, no matter how many soldiers you put there.
Here's a novel approach: how much does it cost a day of war there? Now instead of a soldier, you get a builder there, or a doctor, or a teacher,... for the same amount a day as you would.

And then watch the Taliban kill them for being dirty infidels.

Generic Poster
10-06-2008, 11:44 AM
They were friends with Rambo, they're trustworthy...

James Bond too!

Hoggie
10-06-2008, 11:47 AM
James Bond too!

What Bond was that :confused:

Generic Poster
10-06-2008, 11:49 AM
What Bond was that :confused:

The Living Daylights

"Who are they?"

"The Taliban - Afghanni freedom fighters!"

Hoggie
10-06-2008, 11:51 AM
The Living Daylights

"Who are they?"

"The Taliban - Afghanni freedom fighters!"

Thats what I thought. Oh how things change.

Dreaded Anomaly
10-06-2008, 12:12 PM
don't delude yourselves: you can't win in Afghanistan, no matter how many soldiers you put there.
Here's a novel approach: how much does it cost a day of war there? Now instead of a soldier, you get a builder there, or a doctor, or a teacher,... for the same amount a day as you would.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_Engineer_Deployable_Heavy_Operational_Repair _Squadron_Engineers

The military isn't just for killing.

Amos Moses
10-06-2008, 12:17 PM
If there was any group of people that deserved to be weeded out of the gene pool it's the Taliban. You guys remember seeing those videos of women getting shot in the head for learning how to read right? Why would anyone want those kinds of people in their society?


This actually is not that far of a stretch. Either way there are going to be more US boots on the ground and that can't be good for them. Its just sad that we proped these guys up in the first place after the Russian war ended.

We didn't install the Taliban. All we did was arm them (and other Afghan groups) and train them. The Mujahs/Warlords took over Afghanistan after the Soviets left, the the Taliban took out the Warlords.


don't delude yourselves: you can't win in Afghanistan, no matter how many soldiers you put there.
Here's a novel approach: how much does it cost a day of war there? Now instead of a soldier, you get a builder there, or a doctor, or a teacher,... for the same amount a day as you would.

An outside force isn't going to "Fix" Afghanistan, be it with Riflemen or Teachers. Afghans are going to have to start fixing themselves, beginning with weeding out the batshit parts of their culture, like, I don't know, THE FUCKING TALIBAN!

sonnylarue
10-06-2008, 12:45 PM
October surprise!

Seriously though, potentially good news.

it is good news, and news that neither the bush adm, or either pres candidate could claim resposibility for making it happen.

GelfXIII
10-06-2008, 12:51 PM
talks are an improvement, but remember these are still the people who be-headed women in soccer stadiums and destroyed every historical religious shrine or statue they could find.

Hoggie
10-06-2008, 12:53 PM
How can any conversation with these people be good? Fuck them, fuck their governing style, fuck their sharia law, and fuck their beards.

GelfXIII
10-06-2008, 01:01 PM
How can any conversation with these people be good?

If you're talking, you aint shooting. That's how. Talking is always better than shooting.

Hoggie
10-06-2008, 01:02 PM
If you're talking, you aint shooting. That's how. Talking is always better than shooting.

Unless we're shooting them. I'm all for that.

Dreaded Anomaly
10-06-2008, 01:07 PM
it is good news, and news that neither the bush adm, or either pres candidate could claim resposibility for making it happen.

If McCain can claim responsibility for working out the bailout deal, he can claim responsibility for this.

Wigner's Friend
10-06-2008, 01:07 PM
If you're talking, you aint shooting. That's how. Talking is always better than shooting.

Unless we're talking about giving them the Sudetenland.

Dreaded Anomaly
10-06-2008, 01:14 PM
Unless we're talking about giving them the Sudetenland.

Peace in our time?

BENDIS!
10-06-2008, 01:25 PM
anyone see mars attacks?

Generic Poster
10-06-2008, 01:31 PM
anyone see mars attacks?

Yeah!

Anyone see Continental Divide?

sabirpirzada
10-06-2008, 01:45 PM
How can any conversation with these people be good? Fuck them, fuck their governing style, fuck their sharia law, and fuck their beards.

There's nothing wrong with Sharia Law if it's what the people want (see: Pakistan). It's just a matter of implementing it properly.

And there ain't nothing wrong with beards either.;)

All I'm getting at here is that you should be saying "fuck them and their intolerance and their crazy oppression of basic human rights" instead of pointing to things that aren't inherently bad.

GelfXIII
10-06-2008, 01:58 PM
There's nothing wrong with Sharia Law if it's what the people want (see: Pakistan). It's just a matter of implementing it properly.

And there ain't nothing wrong with beards either.;)

All I'm getting at here is that you should be saying "fuck them and their intolerance and their crazy oppression of basic human rights" instead of pointing to things that aren't inherently bad.

Wow. The voice of reason.....



what the hell are you doing here? :lol:

Bill!
10-06-2008, 02:00 PM
exactly.

Heh. Nothing like calling a peace meeting and then killing everyone.

ZombieSpeedball
10-06-2008, 02:02 PM
Yeah!

Anyone see Continental Divide?

No.

Anyone seen The Blues Brothers?

Hoggie
10-06-2008, 02:41 PM
There's nothing wrong with Sharia Law if it's what the people want (see: Pakistan). It's just a matter of implementing it properly.

And there ain't nothing wrong with beards either.;)

All I'm getting at here is that you should be saying "fuck them and their intolerance and their crazy oppression of basic human rights" instead of pointing to things that aren't inherently bad.

I can find plenty of things wrong with Sharia law.

sabirpirzada
10-06-2008, 03:23 PM
I can find plenty of things wrong with Sharia law.

I'm sure you could, but no law system is perfect. If it's what a majority of people agree to be a good system to go by, then let them use it.

And I would hesitate to call what the Taliban implemented "Sharia" so now that I think about it, it's not really relevant to this discussion anyway. My apologies for the deviance.